One hundred days of war and no end in sight?

Russia has been waging its war of aggression against Ukraine since 24 February 2022. Although Kyiv has managed to stop the country from being completely overrun, it has lost control of roughly one-fifth of its territory including the areas taken over in 2014 - despite all the weapons and support from the West. If the war continues like this the future looks bleak, commentators fear.

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De Telegraaf (NL) /

Putin only understands the force of arms

Kyiv is not being given the weapons it needs, De Telegraaf complains:

“Ukrainian President Zelensky is not getting the long-range missiles he wants due to fears of escalation, even though he promised not to fire them at targets in Russia. President Biden, meanwhile, has said that he will not pressure Ukraine to make territorial concessions. Yet precisely this scenario looms if Ukraine is not equipped with the weapons the country needs. Putin is not about to stop, and will only come to the negotiating table if the Ukrainian army is made capable of defeating the Russian troops.”

Göteborgs-Posten (SE) /

Russia has staying power

Göteborgs-Posten warns against underestimating Russia:

“Russia has a long history of perseverance - despite poor starting positions and military incompetence. ... Of course, it is not impossible that Ukraine will be able to chase away the Russians [in Donbas], but a long stalemate is more likely. ... Completely shutting down the Russian economy and army is not a realistic alternative. There is still massive support for Putin in Russia. ... So what we need is either a diplomatic solution that is acceptable to both Russia and Ukraine - rather unlikely at the moment. Or else all parties, including Ukraine's Western allies, must prepare for a long war.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

Fake news as a weapon

La Vanguardia fears Moscow's version of the situation could prevail:

“The fact that the harsh sanctions against Russia are having the opposite of the desired effect is highlighting the helplessness of the EU leaders. Many countries believe [the Russian narrative] that the sanctions are causing the looming food crisis, while in reality it results from the fact that no grain can be exported from the war zone. ... The West must therefore be very careful to ensure that its sanctions policy against Russia don't backfire. ... Brussels is right to work out its own strategy, because in the EU and the US people are convinced that they are on the good side of history. But this view is not shared by everyone in the world.”

Kronen Zeitung (AT) /

A festering wound will remain

Nothing good awaits Ukraine, Kronen Zeitung believes:

“The war will leave behind a maimed Ukraine, and the most the West could get [Putin] to agree on is to free up Odessa as the country's corridor to the sea. ... Russia doesn't need to be defeated on the battlefield, it is ruining itself. It's enough if arms deliveries to Ukraine slow the Russian advance and make it as expensive as possible until Putin realises that his war of conquest is a zero-sum game. Then, as in Bosnia, the war will freeze on the final fronts and remain a festering wound in Europe, because the Ukrainians will continue to fight a partisan war. They have experience in this.”